April 4, 2003
Interim Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty Charles M. Joseph called the meeting to order at 3:40 p.m.
A motion was made to approve the March 7, 2003 Faculty Meeting minutes. The motion was seconded and passed with all in favor.
DEAN OF THE FACULTY'S REPORT
Dean Joseph began by asking Associate Dean of the Faculty Sarah Goodwin to give an update on the Fall 2002 Evaluation process. Dean Goodwin explained that many problems were encountered using the “Deans Cards” Evaluations. Dean Goodwin has been working very closely with CITS to correct the current problem and prevent future problems. Most errors were the result of a failure to follow instructions during every stage of the process. Safety nets have been created to prevent errors in the future and forms will be more user friendly, but it will still be imperative to follow the directions closely.
Dean Joseph began by referring to his memo of March 28 in which he updated the community on the budget and financial matters. A financial planning timetable was included with his memo. FPPC and President's Staff met twice, President's Staff has been meeting twice weekly, and now that Dean Joseph is chair of President's Staff, he has asked Dean Goodwin to join those meetings in Dean Joseph's seat. A report has been received from the actuaries Price Waterhouse Coopers; members of Financial Services staff and members of the Management and Business Department have been meeting; IPC continues to meet; and Karl Broekhuizen has been holding informal meetings with people in the Faculty Staff Club. There will be a meeting between President's Staff and the Board of Trustees Budget and Finance Committee in New York City on April 14. This meeting was not a scheduled meeting but rather a show of good faith and willingness on the part of the Trustees to meet with President's Staff. Dean Joseph has also been meeting with individual trustees over the last month. The budget will be discussed at the April 14 meeting; the budget picture continues to evolve. This fiscal year continues to experience problems and additional steps will have to be taken in terms of a correction.
Dean Joseph continued by speaking about the 2004 budget and the issue of a GSA (general salary adjustment) for next year. This matter will also be on the agenda for the BOT B&F April 14 meeting. The original recommendation from FPPC at the beginning of the year was for a 3.5 percent GSA, which then dropped to a 3 percent GSA recommendation, and FPPC is now recommending a 2 percent GSA. A zero percent GSA may still be appropriate, but ultimately the Board of Trustees will determine that at its May meeting. President's Staff and FPPC have been examining several scenarios in order to arrive at a 2 percent increase recognizing that additional sacrifices will have to be made. Dean Joseph will ultimately make the decision regarding an appropriate recommendation to the Board of Trustees.
Dean Joseph addressed FPPC’s question as to whether or not President's Staff will endorse a 2 percent GSA recommendation to the Board. Dean Joseph opined that he does not feel discussing or passing a motion by the faculty is necessary as he recognizes Skidmore has a morale problem, and he feels he can confidently express that to the Board of Trustees. Dean Joseph believes the Board is already aware of the current morale situation that and a block endorsement by the faculty of a 2 percent GSA will do nothing to bolster the case for such an increase and may, in fact, make Dean Joseph's job more difficult in sensitively conveying the relevant issues. Dean Joseph respectfully requested that the tabled motions from last meeting be withdrawn and no substitute motions be introduced in order to give him the opportunity to discuss with the Board matters of morale, matters of human capital, and the investment everyone is making in the community.
Dean Joseph continued by stating the next 30 days will be among the most important in Skidmore's history with regard to the search for a new president. He feels it is important to consider what image the College wishes to present to the candidates. There is no question that the new president will arrive at Skidmore facing a host of issues and the faculty's support is necessary. The search for a new president should be the primary priority for everyone at this point.
JEFF SEGRAVE – Presidential Search Committee Progress Report:
Jeff began his report by stating that there have been 180 applicants and nominations. It breaks down to 94 applications and 86 nominations. The pool of 17 has been whittled down to nine semi-finalists. Extensive reference checks have been done on all of the 17 candidates with the committee speaking to a minimum of three and a maximum of six references. Everyone on the committee is very pleased with the quality of the pool. The pool of 17 candidates has been further reduced to a pool of nine. April 8 through April 10 the committee will be conducting intensive, off-campus, confidential interviews with the nine candidates. The goal is to bring three finalists to campus after having done a more thorough background check on them. On-campus visits are scheduled to conclude by the end of April. On April 8 there will be on campus meetings with John Howley, Sue Thomas and Tobie van der Vorm, Senior Consultant, Academic Search Consultation Service, to discuss the status of the search and the plans for the visits.
PAT FEHLING – CEPP – Articulation Agreement with RPI
Pat reported that CEPP received a request from the Management and Business Department to terminate the Articulation Agreement with RPI – 3+2 MBA Program for a variety of reasons which CEPP felt were compelling. CEPP voted on the request, agreed to terminate the agreement, and was now reporting it to the faculty according to procedure.
GRACE BURTON – IPC – Peer Group Committee
Grace began by explaining that in December 2002, President Studley asked her to chair a subcommittee of IPC charged with undertaking a review of Skidmore's defined peer institutions. Members of the subcommittee are John Brueggemann, Associate Dean of Faculty Development; Joe Stankovich, Associate Director of Institutional Research; Gerry Schorin, Director of Strategic Communications; Mary Crone, elected member of IPC; and Greg Pfitzer. At present Skidmore has a list of defined peer institutions and a list of "commonly-referenced institutions" and although both lists are available on the Skidmore website, only the list of defined peer institutions constitutes the official "CWWWWACO" (Colleges With Whom Which We are Apt to Compare Ourselves) group. The committee has been working diligently to define a peer set from a number of different points of view. A progress report from IPC is due to Dean Joseph by April 18. A final list will progress from this committee, to IPC, to President Staff before presentation to the faculty.
JIM KENNELLY – FPPC
FPPC has met 29 times so far this year including twice with President's Staff, twice with the actuaries from Price Waterhouse Coopers, and once with the Board of Trustees. The committee has recommended a provision for a 2 percent GSA for FY '04. The recommendation is based on the logic that a zero percent GSA is taking money away from employees given the current rate of inflation and in anticipation of being asked to share some of the costs for health insurance. The Committee believes that funds can be found, but that all factors must be included in consideration of a GSA and the resultant impact on upcoming fiscal years. The committee has examined the financial forecast through FY '08 finding that $3.5 million is the current projected deficit for FY '08. Reg Lilly mentioned that the Benefits Committee has finalized its report to FPPC regarding short-term recommendations, which would yield $630,000 per annum beginning next year. Part of the recommendation is a cost-sharing plan in which Skidmore employees are required to bear some of the costs, including a possible 6.25 percent of the cost of the medical plan. Jim responded to a question about the $3.5 million figure by stating that the figure does not include any strategic initiatives. Jim also warned that the deficit figure would continue to change in the future. Karl Broekhuizen addressed a question as to whether the current hiring freeze will carry over to FY '04 responding that a hiring freeze was not built into the budget for next year.
Dean Joseph asked Mark Huibregtse to explain the parliamentarian procedures that will apply for the upcoming portion of the meeting regarding the tabled motions.
Michael Arnush moved that both motions (Michael's motion regarding the GSA issue and Terry Diggory's substitute motion regarding the GSA issue) lying on the table from the March 7, 2003 Faculty Meeting, be removed from the table. The motion was seconded and passed with the majority in favor.
Michael then requested leave to withdraw his motion regarding the GSA issue, which would automatically withdraw Terry Diggory's motion, as Terry's motion was subsidiary to Michael's motion. There were no objections. Both motions were withdrawn.
Michael Arnush offered a revised version of his original motion regarding a GSA and read it into the record. (See Attachment A.) Michael explained his reasons for offering the revised version. The motion was seconded and the floor opened for discussion. The issue was discussed. A request was made that Michael withdraw his motion to which he agreed. The motion required no second, and a consent of the assembly was requested. There was no objection. The motion was withdrawn.
Tim Burns, in place of Pat Oles and on behalf of SGA, presented the motion for the faculty's support of a Student Bill of Rights being adopted as College policy. (See Attachment F (03/07/03).) Andy Kirshenbaum gave a brief summary of the motion that was originally brought to the faculty at the March 7, 2003 Faculty Meeting. The floor was opened for discussion. The question was called. The motion was voted on and passed with all in favor.
Dan Curley, on behalf of the Honor Code Commission, introduced a motion for faculty
endorsement of SGA Resolution 13-10, Resolution Requesting Academic Departments to
Stop Using the Honor Code Stamp. Dan read the motion into the record. (See Attachment E (02/07/03).) The motion was seconded and the floor opened for discussion. Discussion ensued.
A friendly amendment was offered for revision of the language to which the Honor Code Commission denied the friendly amendment. The question was called. The motion was voted on
and passed with the majority in favor.
There was no other business.
- Phil advised that Shades of Gray II would be held Wednesday, April 23 at 8:00 p.m. Phil thanked those who got back to him for submitted more proposals for Academic Festival. He is still accepting proposals, especially for non-seniors, until April 10. Skidmore’s fifth annual Academic Festival (see http://www.skidmore.edu/academics/hfc/af/) will be held April 30, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and Phil encouraged everyone to be enthusiastic and to encourage students to attend.
- Michael announced that Skidmore's first-ever Greco-Roman Olympics on Case Green will be held during Academic Festival on April 30. All members of the community are encouraged to participate. (See http://www.skidmore.edu/academics/hfc/af/.)
- Susan gave an update regarding the recent results of the CFG Round IV Elections. Susan feels that serious consideration regarding the committee system will have to be dealt with in the future. She urged all faculty members to consider running for committees especially at this time while a presidential search is underway. Susan still needs people to run for ACC and CAPT. There are currently not enough people to run elections for four of the seven committees with openings.
- Alice announced the Collaborative Research Program awards, the Tang Exhibit Award, and The Ralph A. Ciancio Award for Excellence in Teaching recipient Greg Pfitzer. (SeeAttachment D.) Alice reminded everyone that there is another opportunity to obtain money for scholarship through Faculty Development Grants. The deadline is Monday, April 7 until 5:00 p.m. Applications are being accepted in the Dean's Office.
- Karl announced an invitation to the faculty reception sponsored by Financial Affairs to be held at the Faculty Staff Club.
The meeting was adjourned at 5:34 p.m.
Colleen M. Sleezer
Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs
and Dean of the Faculty